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West Bengal Municipal Polls: BJP Calls for Bengal Bandh Today, Governor Dhankar Summons State Election Commissioner

West Bengal Municipal Polls: Over 95 lakh people are slated to exercise their franchise in 2,276 wards spread over 108 municipalities. The total number of polling stations will be 10,813 and that of polling premises will be 4,851.

Updated: February 28, 2022 12:42 AM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Rajashree Seal

The counting of votes will take place on June 15.

Kolkata: Amidst tight security measures, an election in 108 municipalities across West Bengal is currently underway from 7 am and will continue until 5 pm on Sunday. Over 95 lakh people are slated to exercise their franchise in 2,276 wards spread over 108 municipalities. The total number of polling stations will be 10,813 and that of polling premises will be 4,851. Altogether 40,000 police personnel are being deployed by the SEC, which said that there will be at least one armed police in every polling booth. There will be 125 poll observers, said a State Election Commission official. Ruling Trinamool Congress is going to the poll buoyed by its success in the election to four municipal corporations and the city civic body in the recent past and is confident of a repeat show. Opposition BJP is struggling to retain its pockets of influence following the recent electoral drubbing. The results of the elections will be announced on March 2.

Highlights from West Bengal Municipal Polls:

9.00 PM: Today in Municipal elections, voters were attacked outside polling booths. The voters were not allowed to cast their votes freely. Women workers were beaten last night, many of our leaders were attacked: West Bengal BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul (ANI)

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8.30 PM: State Govt will not allow any Bandh or strike. All schools, colleges will be open. State Govt will take all necessary measures to ensure that all establishments and services function smoothly and that there is no disruption: West Bengal Govt on BJP’s call for strike

8.15 PM: We have called for a 12 hours bandh (strike) tomorrow. Today in municipal elections women were misconducted and hundreds of people entered booths in various locations. Democracy is being demolished here: West Bengal BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar

8.00 PM: Trinamool calls for protest rally on Monday at 4 pm in all blocks against BJP’s move to create chaos and bring back the bandh culture said Firhad Hakim. He said that the bandh will not tolerated.

7.30 PM: West Bengal: BJP has given a 12 hour state wide bandh on Monday in protest against violence during the civic polls.

4.00 PM: Though there were sporadic incidents of violence, brisk polling was recorded in 108 municipalities spread over 21 districts across West Bengal in the crucial civic body elections on Sunday. According to the latest information, 65 per cent polling was recorded till 3 p.m.

3.45 PM:  West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has called State Election Commissioner anytime before 10 am tomorrow in view of alarmingly disturbing inputs, depicting scenario of violence and lawlessness in the Municipal elections: Raj Bhavan

3.30 PM: PCC chief and Congress MP Adhir Choudhury gheraoed in Berhampore Murshidabad by Trinamool workers.

2:10 pm: The voter turnout was 49.91 percent till 1 pm. The highest turnout was in East Midnapore (59.19 per cent). The lowest turnout was in Darjeeling (36.22 per cent).

2:00 pm: Soumendu Adhikari visiting polling booths ‘illegally’, Suprakash Giri has lodged a verbal complaint with the Election Commission.

1:45 pm: BJP Bengal vice-president Arjun Singh’s relative Sanjay Singh was arrested for threatening to vandalize EVM.

1:10 pm: A clash broke between TMCand BJP workers during the polling for West Bengal civic polls in North 24 Parganas. “2 EVMs vandalized at ward 9, the similar situation across the state. Police arresting BJP workers, not letting them vote. All booths have been captured,” said Arjun Singh, BJP.

1:00 pm: Fake voters detained at a booth in Deshbandhu Para, Ward 5 of Dalkhola Municipality. The name of the accused has not been registered on the voters’ list yet.

12: 30 pm: The turnout was 33.52 % till 11 am. The highest number of votes was cast in East Midnapore and the lowest in Darjeeling.

11:40 am: Tensions intensify in Shantipur, Ward 7, Guskara Municipality, East Burdwan. The CPM’s allegations are that outsiders are blocking voters from casting their ballots.

11:20 am: Outsiders and bike forces are roaming in different wards of Rajpur Sonarpur Municipality including 3,14,15,16,17,22,28,28,31,35. CPI (M) leader Sujan Chakraborty has alleged that forces have taken over the entire Jayanagar municipality area.

10:50 am: Tensions flare up again in booths 1 and 2 of Byomshankar High School in ward 15 of Sonamukhi municipality.

10:30 am: Fake polling agent arrested in Cooch Behar’s ward 19.

10:00 am: In 107 municipalities of the state, the turnout was 15.6 percent till 9 am. The highest turnout was in East Midnapore (19.96 per cent). The lowest turnout was in Darjeeling (10 per cent).

08:41 am: Allegation of harassment against BJP candidate by entering a booth in Ward 8 of Barasat Municipality. It is alleged that the BJP candidate’s agent was prevented from sitting in the booth. After that, the BJP candidate went to the booth and the argument began. After a while, he threw the EVM and broke the EVM.

08:35 am:

08:25 am: Alleged beating of a Congress agent reported inside booth No. 48 at GTI School, Ward 7, Bahrampur Municipality. Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury at the scene.

08:10 am: There are 72 booths in 32 wards in the hilly region of Darjeeling. Voting has begun at the end of mock polls in various booths, including St. Teresa’s Girls’ Higher Secondary School, however, there is no crowd in the voting line since morning.

08:05 am: BJP candidate Krishna Bhattacharya of ward 10 of Konnagar municipality was allegedly beaten. The arrow of accusation is towards the TMC. BJP workers block Battala GT Road in Konnagar. While returning from the election office, Krishna Bhattacharya was allegedly surrounded and beaten by some miscreants near 24 villages.

08:00 am: The ruling party has been accused of burning the tent office of BJP candidate Kuheli Dutt in Ward No. 8 of Midnapore Municipality. The BJP has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission.

07:55 am: Voting begins in 108 municipalities. Voting started at polling booth No. 242/203 of Ward No. 9 of Purulia Municipality. A senior citizen female voter has cast her vote.

07:45 am: On the eve of Bengal municipal elections, two groups of grassroots clashed on the battlefield. The attack took place in front of the police. A total of 6 people were injured in the incident. People of the area complained that Nirmal Roy, the Trinamool Congress candidate in Ward 29, brought people from outside and attacked the Trinamool Congress workers in the area.RAF has been deployed at the spot along with huge police force of Belgharia police station to bring the situation under control.

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Published Date: February 27, 2022 7:33 AM IST

Updated Date: February 28, 2022 12:42 AM IST